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Girl Power

Over at his excellent site, Marc Ambinder has posted a memo from the Clinton campaign about last night's debate. It concludes:

The American people are looking for a President who can stand strong and come out ahead under any circumstances. Last night, once again, that person was Hillary Clinton. One strong woman. [Italics mine]

After another recent debate, Clinton gave a speech where she said the following:

"The last couple of weeks I've been getting a lot of attention from the men in this race," she said, referring to the steady stream of jabs she's taken from rivals Rudy Giuliani, John Edwards and Barack Obama.

"At first I didn't know what to make of it," Clinton, who turns 60 next week, quipped.

"And then a good friend of mine said, 'You know, when you get to be our age, having that much attention from all these men ...,'" she said, leaving the last line up to the imaginations of about 1,000 women filling a ballroom at the Capital Hilton.

Now, I understand that this sort of thing tends to go over well with various audiences. And it's also clear that a lot of the venom and hatred that has been directed towards Hillary Clinton over the past fifteen years is the result of a certain kind of reactionary sexism.  

Still, I find this line of attack/defense from the Clintonites to be both tiresome and offensive. The former stems from the boilerplate language about Hillary Clinton being a steadfast supporter of women and families blah blah blah. The latter has to do with the none-too-subtle implication that the erstwhile first lady is a poor, defenseless woman being beat up on by the likes of cruel men like, er, Barack Obama. If the Clinton campaign and its supporters are going to fight against certain stupid stereotypes, they should try not to traffic in others.

 P.S. Mike noticed this earlier.

 --Isaac Chotiner